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  1. #1
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    Slight issue with new MTB purchase

    I'll try to make this as thorough and to the point as possible.

    I just brought home my '07 Kona Caldera. Before I purchased it a few weeks ago, I rode it just briefly, and compared the size to my old bike. When I got it home, I compared the 2 bikes, and noticed that the Kona sits up quite a bit higher in the front (due to the suspension, I suppose)...not a big deal. It still feels comfortable and I'm loving it.

    But here's my dilemma. I'm about 5'10" or so, and realized that my standing clearance isn't as much as I'd like (however, I tested it without shoes when I got home). The bike has a 20" frame, and they have an 18" Caldera still at the shop. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I switched bikes to get the 18", but initially the 20" felt much better than the 18".

    Anyone have any insight on what may be the best option? If I went back for the 18", I would be afraid that it may feel too small, and would at least need a new stem (which might help the feeling of 'too small'). However, if I stay with the 20", I'm afraid it may be a hair too large...and they didn't have a 19". It might be a different story once the bike is off of carpet (haven't ridden it since I got it home).

    I know that I need a bike that I feel comfortable on, and I'm sure some folks will say "You should have tested it more before buying it"...but like I said it felt great when I was testing it in the store...I'm just noticing a bit more now that it's home. It could also be one of those things that I just need to get more comfortable with it, as I haven't had a chance to really try it out.

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated!
    2007 Kona Caldera
    2002 GT Dyno Compe
    1999 Raleigh M30

  2. #2
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    I am 5'9" and ride an 18" Trek frame. I like the standover height and think a 20" frame would be way to tight for me.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  3. #3
    RT
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    The Weird Beard RT's Avatar
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    I am 6'1" and had some similar issues with my Raleigh M50 DX. For some reason, even-inch frames put me in the grey area. My Giant is a 21" and fits perfectly, but the Raleighs were 20" and 22". I went with the smaller, and it has worked out fine. I think I can adapt things like seatpost and handlebars better.

  4. #4
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    I am 5'10" with a 30" inseam and I ride 17" and 18" MTB's. A 20" would be way too big. What's your inseam?

    Yes, you'll be able to adjust your ergonomics on the bike with stem, bars, seat position, seatpost type, etc.. My spin on the whole 'fit' thing is that it is a lot easier to fit (with component adjustments) on a slightly small frame than it is on one slightly large. I say go with the 18".

    Toddorado said it well, on the smaller you can adapt easier.
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  5. #5
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim? scrublover's Avatar
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    Buy the bike by the toptube fit, not the seattube fit. If you feel you can get the right fit (as in, not too cramped length-wise without resorting to silly long stems) with the smaller frame size, go for it.
    I believe the clouds in my coffee more than the weatherman on t.v.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the feedback...my inseam is about 33" and figured I'd be safe with the 20" frame. Now I'm worried that they might not have the 18" afterall, which is a bummer because I'm kinda set on the Calderas...but I've decided to head back in the morning and see what they have...

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by dlh1999; 12-10-07 at 10:06 PM.
    2007 Kona Caldera
    2002 GT Dyno Compe
    1999 Raleigh M30

  7. #7
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    Well, I just got back from the bike shop, and they still had the 18" Caldera. So I had them put a Ritchey stem on it that was slightly longer, and the bike fits perfectly. Thanks again for all the help!
    2007 Kona Caldera
    2002 GT Dyno Compe
    1999 Raleigh M30

  8. #8
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    i'm ~ 5'10 and ride a 17 inch Marin and a 19.5 inch Trek ... oddly enough both seat tubes measure 18.5 inches center to top.. just saying some campanies size their bikes differently..

    either size would probably work. the 18 might be a better fit or maybe try a different model.

  9. #9
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    The 18" is a PERFECT fit...put a slightly longer stem on it, and couldn't ask for a better fit. It is funny that it's almost identical to the Raleigh I have...
    2007 Kona Caldera
    2002 GT Dyno Compe
    1999 Raleigh M30

  10. #10
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlh1999 View Post
    The 18" is a PERFECT fit...put a slightly longer stem on it, and couldn't ask for a better fit. It is funny that it's almost identical to the Raleigh I have...
    That's great, sounds like you're pretty juiced about it.

    When my bike fits well and I am on a good ride/flow, I see God.
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  11. #11
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  12. #12
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
    I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
    NO WAY! How do even stradle the bike?

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
    I'm 5'2" and ride a 22" bike. I think 18" is way too small.
    That's a joke, right?
    2007 Kona Caldera
    2002 GT Dyno Compe
    1999 Raleigh M30

  14. #14
    Whistler-bound dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlh1999 View Post
    That's a joke, right?
    The only thing junkyard does not joke about is the serious stuff.

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